Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis took a break from complaining about politics on Twitter to ask coaches throughout their country on various teams in college basketball. The coaches gave their opinions anonymously, and one SEC coach had an entertaining take on how to stop Malik Monk: go all-in on the offering plate at church.
“Best way to stop Monk is, when they pass the plate in church, make sure you put two handfuls in,” the SEC coach said.
Monk’s second half on Saturday showed that prayer might be the best defense. Monk scored 30 of his 33 points after halftime, the most points in one half by a UK player in the Calipari era. He’s also the first freshman in UK history to have 30 points in four games in one season. Simply put, when Monk is on, he’s unstoppable, so coaches across the country better head to church if they find themselves playing Kentucky in the postseason.
What else did the anonymous SEC coach say about the Cats?
“They’re starting to peak at the right time. [Isaiah] Briscoe is really the heart and soul. He makes a lot of big plays in close games. [Isaac] Humphries would start on a lot of high-major teams. Bam [Adebayo] is their key guy. He will put you in the basket if you let him get near the rim. He’s their only inside scorer. You gotta get him behind you on the low block and go after him. Even if he blocks a couple, it’s worth it to try to get him into foul trouble.”
After reading that line about Briscoe, I’m willing to bet money the coach is Ben Howland, who said basically the exact same thing back in January.
“When I think of Kentucky, the heart and soul of that team is Briscoe,” Howland said on January 16. “They need a tough basket, he’s the guy that delivers. He’s just a winner. He makes everybody else better around him. You can’t say enough about Briscoe and what he does.”
I agree that Kentucky won’t go far without major contributions from Briscoe, but is he still the heart and soul of this team? Right now, I’d give that title to Dominique Hawkins.
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Ben Howland the anonymous SEC coach’s thoughts on Kentucky at the link below.